Geography Basics for SSC, IB and Railways

Geography Basics for SSC, IB and Railways




Important Terms Of Geography

Term Meaning
Equinox The moment when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward. Due to differences between the calendar year and the tropical year, the September equinox can occur at any time from the 21st to the 24th day of September.
Autumnal Equinox The equinox may be taken to mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn (autumnal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere.
Vernal Equinox The equinox may be taken to mark the end of winter and the start of spring (vernal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.
Winter solstice An astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. It occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere.
Summer solstice Occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. For that hemisphere, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight.
Pangaea A supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It assembled from earlier continental units approximately 335 million years ago, and it began to break apart about 175 million years ago.
Strait A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two other large areas of water.
Bay A recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay.
Isthmus A narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated.
Gulf A large inlet from the ocean into the landmass, typically with a narrower opening than a bay; though this is not observable in all geographic areas so named.
Sea / Ocean The connected body of salty water that covers over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface.
River A natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river.
Lake An area filled with water, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land, apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake.
Pond A body of standing water, either natural or artificial, that is usually smaller than a lake.
Doab Water-rich tract of land lying between two converging, or confluent, rivers.
Peninsula A piece of land surrounded by water on the majority of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends.
Cape A headland or a promontory of large size extending into a body of water, usually the sea.
Archipelago A sea or stretch of water having many islands.
Island / Isle Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water.
Biome A community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in.
Desert A barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and consequently living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life.
Tundra A type of biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons.
Census The procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population.
Equinox The moment when the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun, which occurs twice each year: around 20 March and 22–23 September. In other words, it is the moment at which the center of the visible Sun is directly above the Equator.
Estuary A partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries form a transition zone between river environments and maritime environments.
Greenhouse Effect The process by which radiation from a planet’s atmosphere warms the planet’s surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere.
Humidity The amount of water vapour present in air.
El Niño The warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, including off the Pacific coast of South America.
La Niña A coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon that is the counterpart of El Niño as part of the broader El Niño–Southern Oscillation climate pattern.

Studies related to Geography

Term Meaning
Topography The study of the shape and features of land surfaces.
Demography The study of statistics such as births, deaths, income, or the incidence of disease, which illustrate the changing structure of human populations.
Ecology Study of the relationships between organisms and their environment.
Geology An earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time.
Meteorology A branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, with a major focus on weather forecasting.
Petrology The branch of science concerned with the origin, structure, and composition of rocks.

Natural Disasters

Term Meaning
landslide An outward and downward slope movement of an abundance of slope-forming materials including rock, soil, artificial, or even a combination of these things.
Earthquake The shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves.
Volcano A rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface.
Flood An overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry.
Tsunami A series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosion, landslides, glacier calvings, meteorite impacts and other disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami.
Cyclone A large scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure. Cyclones are characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure.
Tornado A rapidly rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud.
Hurricane / Tropical Cyclone A rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain.


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